After earning last year’s state runner-up trophy with an unprecedented score (125 pts.) for a second place team, the Lady Highlanders knew the 2016 season would be a rebuilding year. After all, the team would lose nearly 50 points due to graduation. The expectations for 2016 were to gain experience, be competitive in the region and finish in the top four at state. The team entered Saturday’s state championship as huge underdogs to Porter Gaud and Ashley Hall. Yet, with just 10 girls competing in the meet, they captured another second place trophy in the most hotly contested SCISA girls track championship in over 12 years.
With one event left it was announced that Heathwood was in first place and three points ahead of Porter Gaud. The Highlander squad would need a first or second place finish in the 4 x 400 meter relay. In the end Porter Gaud’s team depth helped them to a first place finish in the relay. The Heathwood relay ran a season best time and finished third in the event.
The final team score: Porter Gaud 105, Heathwood Hall 104
The heart, determination, and courage of the Heathwood squad were evident throughout the day’s competition. Sophomore Maryah Nasir pulled off an amazing and difficult “distance triple” by winning the 2 mile, mile and the 800! Her 800 meter time of 2:21.45 established a new SCISA state record. Nasir topped off her spectacular day with a 1:01 split on the first leg of the 4 x 400 meter relay.
Junior captain Rachael Whittaker also had a spectacular day. Whittaker finished 2nd in the 100 meter dash, 2nd in the 200 meter dash, 2nd in the triple jump and 1st in the 400 meter run. Whittaker scored 34 points and was awarded the high point plaque for the second consecutive year!
Sophomore Nadia Deas ran four very strong races. She finished in 3rd place in the 100 & 200 and helped the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays score valuable points. Louise Tester, in just her second state meet, finished second in the pole vault with a jump of 9’6” and 4th place in the discus with a throw of 83’7”. She also helped the 4 x 100 relay score much needed points by running the anchor leg. Shaniya Parker turned in an outstanding performance in the shot put with a personal best throw of 32’3”, good enough for second place.. In addition to her outstanding races in the 100 & 200, Jaylen Davis helped the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays to 5thand 3rd place finishes respectively. Freshman Morgan Goodwin established personal records in both the 100 and 200 and ran an outstanding first leg on the 4 x 100 meter relay. Sarah Hudson scored points in her first state track meet by running a personal best split of 1:07 on the 4 x 400 meter relay. And the team also received strong efforts from Pippa Richter in the two mile and Idalia Hannain the discus.
The Lady Highlander strong track & field tradition continued in 2016, thanks to the “over-achieving,” courageous efforts of a group who would not give up. The team now has three state titles and five state runner-up finishes over the past 12 years.
SCISA AAA 2016 State Championship Team Results:
|1. Porter Gaud||105|
|2. Heathwood Hall||104|
|3. Hammond School||82|
|4. Ashley Hall||79|
|5. Wilson Hall||42|
|6. Ben Lippen||33.5|
|7. Thomas Sumter||30|
|8. Northwood Academy||25.5|
|9. Pinewood Prep||14|
|10. Orangeburg Prep||10.5|
|11. Augusta Christian||0.5|